Bob's Garden Center roadside sign

February 8, 2016

Roadside Signs: Research Shows What Works Best

If zoning laws for roadside signs seem random to you, there’s a fair chance you’re right. Until 2011, zoning boards did not have solid research to rely on when developing their rules. That has finally changed, thanks to a report from USSC Foundation.

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February 1, 2016

Stores Big On Plant Sales Vs. Stores With Diverse Products [Infographic]

Stores with most of their gross sales coming from plants tend to think those where plants generate less than half of annual sales are ... not quite legitimate. So we took a closer look at what kind of differences we could find between the two groups, and discovered several surprising results.

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February 1, 2016

Vendor Day At Osuna Nursery Draws Gardeners And Builds Vendor Relationships

The New Mexico-based garden retailer invites all its vendors to meet its customers one day a year, and give customers access to deeply knowledgeable representatives, and giving vendors a chance to meet the public in a way not usually available to them.

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Workers at The Farm at Green Village

January 30, 2016

Protect Your Love For Your Garden Work By Taking Time Off

We have an annual work rhythm that I think threatens to steal the joy we find in our industry. Our marathon run of extreme hours during the spring rush must stop.

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January 27, 2016

Garden Retail Survey Says Consumers Are Buying Annuals And Edibles

During the 2014 Greenhouse Grower GROW Summit, Susie Raker of C. Raker & Sons made a comment that hit home for everyone in the room. She said she was tired of trying to get more market share from a shrinking pie. She would much rather grow her business by having the industry expand. Susie gave voice to what just about everyone in the industry feels. It’s ridiculous to fight each other for market share when we should be focusing on fighting for our industry’s future. Simply put, we need more customers. One way to expand our customer base is to follow the lead of those in charge: consumers. Ultimately, they control how much our industry grows or slims down. To help make that happen, take a few minutes to look over the results of what we learned from retail surveys over the past few years. When retailers report what is selling […]

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Perennial Casket Spray Coral Bells from Hoerr Nursery

January 26, 2016

Living Memorials Are A Poignant Offering At Hoerr Nursery

In July 2014, Hoerr Nursery opened a new department: Tributes and Memorials. “We were approached by John, an employee’s brother, who has worked for years in the floral industry,” says garden center manager David Ploussard. “He noticed that we had the largest selection of memorial products in our market. Combined with his knowledge of funeral and visitation arrangements and procedures, he reasoned that Hoerr Nursery could provide a niche in the memorial market.” Hoerr’s buyer, Darlene, had worked over many years to grow Hoerr Nursery’s selection of memorial products. It was not unusual, Ploussard says, for Hoerr to receive requests to deliver these products and live plants to to visitations. “We reasoned that John’s proposal was a natural fit, as well as an extension of our current services,” he says. Greenhouse Grower RETAILING asked Ploussard to tell us more about how this department functions.   Q: Most garden retail marketing has a happy […]

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January 26, 2016

Six Steps To Help Even Novices Write Compelling Garden Articles

Garden retailers are often called upon to perform tasks far outside what they’re comfortable doing, from taxes to merchandising to writing stories for your store’s blog or for the local media. Don’t let anyone fool you – writing isn’t easy. It takes a lot of practice and thoughtfulness. But it is possible to learn a formula or two that can help even the least-experienced writers connect with readers. This six-step formula spells out exactly how you can tap your own experiences to write not only competently, but in a way that allows readers to relate fully to what you want to say. If you answer customer questions on a regular basis, then this writing hack is perfect for you. Step 1: Identify the most common question being asked. It’s always a good idea to get your staff to share customer questions they heard during your weekly staff meetings. Doing so is an […]

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Dahlia 'Dalaya Red + White' (2015 Reiman Gardens_Iowa State University Field Trials)

January 26, 2016

Top Performing Plants For The Upper Plains

It takes a hardy plant to perform well in the windy and unpredictable upper Midwest states. Take a look at the plants that rose to the top of the pack in trail settings in North Dakota, western Minnesota and northern Iowa.

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pallet wall

January 25, 2016

2 Unique Ways To Approach Benching From My Garden Nursery

Benching displays can be expensive, but they don’t always have to be. My Garden Nursery in Bellingham, WA, has found some creative and inventive ways to improve its displays to help its customers shop wisely, while the grower-retailer saves money on new tables and benches by instead using reclaimed and recycled materials, and paint to freshen everything up. One of the most important features in displaying plants is the color of the bench, says co-owner Jenny Gunderson. “We use orange for plants that like sun and blue for plants that like shade,” Gunderson says. “We have matching orange suns and blue clouds that hang over the tables.” This provides a simple and easy way for customers to discern which plants they need for the areas of their gardens or patios that are exposed to different light conditions, without having to ask. In the operation’s organic herb and veggie area, and […]

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Gerbera 'Funtastic Mango' (2015 Dallas Arboretum Field Trials)

January 18, 2016

Plants That Can Survive Hot Climates

Some parts of the country have a different understanding of what the word "hot" means. A hot climate is one where garden retailers regularly throw out the plant care instructions and replace "full sun" with "morning sun," because very, very few plants can take the blistering heat of a summer's day in these regions. With that in mind, we gathered the top performers from five different field trials in undeniably hot climates.

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January 18, 2016

Proof Garden Stores Are Recovering From The Great Recession

Since 2009, garden retailers have cited the economy as the second greatest barrier to spring sales (weather is always No. 1) — until this past year.

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January 18, 2016

3 Lessons To Learn From Paul James’ Gardening-Resolutions Video

For the past two years, garden celebrity Paul James has been working with Southwood Garden Center in Tulsa, OK. Here are three things James does that garden retailers can learn from when making their own videos.

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